Could you be eligible for Pension Credits?

It’s Pension Credit Week, which aims to get those eligible for the benefit to take it up.

Pensioner's hands holding wallet open


This week is Pension Credit Week and the Government is keen to make those who are eligible aware of the financial help that is available.

According to the latest figures available, which relate to 2019/2020, an estimated 850,000 people who are potentially entitled to the credit are not claiming it.

The Government says research shows the main reasons why people don’t apply are  perceived ineligibility and stigma, with people saying they ‘don’t like asking for benefits’.

In a cost of living crisis, many pensioners will be struggling and we know that many are working past retirement because of financial concerns.

So what is Pension Credit? It is a weekly payment that is available to people in England, Scotland and Wales who are past the State Pension Age and are on a low income. If you have a partner you will need to include them on an application and they will also need to be past State Pension Age or one of you will need to be past State Pension Age and in receipt of housing benefit. 

When you apply your income will be calculated, including your joint income if you have a partner. 

What you’ll get

Pension Credit tops up:

  • your weekly income to £201.05 if you’re single
  • your joint weekly income to £306.85 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, care for someone, have savings or you have housing costs.

Income includes your pension[s] even if you have deferred or not yet claimed it, earnings and some benefits such as Carer’s Allowance, but not others, including Adult Disability Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independent Payment. You can check which are counted here. 

If you have savings and investments worth £10K or more they will count as income. Every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. 

To get an idea of how much you might be paid, you can use the Pension Credit calculator

How to claim Pension Credit

You can apply online here. You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age and can apply any time after you reach State Pension age, but your application can only be backdated by three months.

More information here.

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